Nature's Transformers - CA - First Grade

Nature’s Transformers
A Classrooms Unleashed Program
for First-Grade Students


In this four-lesson unit, students learn about animal and plant adaptations, as well as biomimicry — the process of using nature to help solve human problems. Through the integration of modeling, engineering design, critical thinking, and practicing observations skills, students will come to understand that nature’s designs have inspired inventions and solutions to human problems.

This unit includes three, 60-minute classroom lessons followed up by a 2 1/2-hour field study at Camp Pollock in North Sacramento. 

To supplement the lessons taught by Sierra Nevada Journeys, teachers will have access to our extension curriculum. The extensions include a pre-unit lesson, extension activities for the in-school and field-based lessons, and a post-unit lesson to wrap up the program.

program Overview


In this 60-minute lesson, your student scientists will learn about mimicry and biomimicry. In pairs, they will sort cards to match the structures of plant and animal adaptations with their fuctions, and they will explore burdock seeds and learn about how humans have copied its form to invest something new.

LESSON 1: With a Tail Like This! 

During this 60-minute lesson, first graders will become scientists, exploring the relationship between the structure of an external part and its function through the study of various animals. Students will read an informational text along with the teacher and discuss with classmates the fuction of different animal structures, drawing and labeling a model based on what they learn.

LESSON 4 : scientists in the field

During this 2 1/2-hour field study students journey to Camp Pollock for a nature experience with Sierra Nevada Journeys field educators. Students will explore real life examples in nature of how organisms use their adaptations of external parts to help them survive, and connect how those adaptations in nature have helped humans solve problems.

LESSON 3: BIOMIMICRY: Designing Solutions

During this 60-minute classroom lesson, your scientists will develop solutions to human problems using nature as a guide. The students will practice using biomimicry to draw models of their design solutions to a given problem.

Teacher Information

This lesson is developed for California Next Generation Science Standards:

1-LS1-1, K-2-ETS1-1

In partnership with:

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